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English definition of “unlikely”

unlikely

adjective uk   /ʌnˈlaɪ.kli/ us  

unlikely adjective (NOT PROBABLE)

B1 not probable or likely to happen: [+ (that)] It's pretty unlikely (that) they'll turn up now - it's nearly ten o'clock.

unlikely adjective (NOT EXPECTED)

[only before noun] not the same as you would normally expect: He seems an unlikely-looking doctor (= he is not what I expect a doctor to look like).

unlikely adjective (PROBABLY NOT TRUE)

C2 [only before noun] probably not true: When I asked what he was doing there, he came up with some unlikely explanation.
(Definition of unlikely from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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